Inorganic Chemistry, Vol.48, No.4, 1588-1598, 2009
Nature of the Bonding in Metal-Silane sigma-Complexes
The nature of metal silane sigma-bond interaction has been investigated in several key systems by a range of experimental and computational techniques. The structure of [Cp'Mn(CO)(2)(eta(2)-HSiHPh2)] 1 has been determined by single crystal neutron diffraction, and the geometry at the Si atom is shown to approximate a trigonal bipyramid; salient bond distances and angles are Mn-H(1) 1.575(14), Si-H(1) 1.806(14), Si-H(2) 1.501(13) angstrom, and H(1)-Si-H(2) 148.5(8)degrees. This complex is similar to [Cp'Mn(CO)(2)(eta(2)-HSiFPh2)] 2, whose structure and bonding characteristics have recently been determined by charge density studies based on high-resolution X-ray and neutron diffraction data. The geometry at the Si atom in these sigma-bond complexes is compared with that in other systems containing hypercoordinate silicon. The Mn-H distances for 1 and 2 in solution have been estimated using NMR T-1 relaxation measurements, giving a value of 1.56(3) angstrom in each case, in excellent agreement with the distances deduced from neutron diffraction. Density functional theory calculations have been employed to explore the bonding in the Mn-H-Si unit in 1 and 2 and in the related system [Cp'Mn(CO)(2)(eta(2) -HSiCl3)] 3. These studies support the idea that the oxidative addition of a silane ligand to a transition metal center may be described as an asymmetric process in which the Mn-H bond is formed at an early stage, while both the establishment of the Mn-Si bond and also the activation of the eta(2)-coordinated Si-H moiety are controlled by the extent of Mn -> sigma*(X-Si-H) back-donation, which increases with increasing electron-withdrawing character of the X substituent trans to the metal-coordinated Si-H bond. This delocalized molecular orbital (MO) approach is complemented and supported by combined experimental and theoretical charge density studies: the source function S(r,Omega), which provides a measure of the relative importance of each atom's contribution to the density at a specific reference point r, clearly shows that all three atoms of the Mn(eta(2)-SiH) moiety contribute to a very similar extent to the density at the Mn-Si bond critical point, in pleasing agreement with the MO model. Hence, we advance a consistent and unifying concept which accounts for the degree of Si-H activation in these silane sigma-bond complexes.